1999 Cell Biol Toxicol 1999 ;15 (2):81-90
Laboratoire des Substituts Cutanes, CNRS-UPR 412 and Hopital Edouard Herriot, Lyon, France.

A novel approach for studying angiogenesis: a human skin equivalent with a capillary-like network

Angiogenesis results from an ordered set of events that can be modulated in vivo by a variety of angiogenesis-enhancing or inhibiting agents. We review in vitro angiogenesis models and the agents that enhance or inhibit angiogenesis. We also discuss a new in vitro angiogenesis model created within a skin equivalent. Briefly, endothelial cells were combined with the cutaneous cells of a standard skin equivalent and cultured in a chitosan cross-linked collagen-glycosaminoglycan scaffold of this endothelialized skin. This model enables the formation of capillary-like structures in a coculture environment containing newly synthesized extracellular matrix by fibroblasts and keratinocytes. Several morphological characteristics associated with the microvasculature in vivo were observed in the endothelialized skin equivalent such as histotypic organization of tubular structures, basement membrane deposition, and intercellular junction formation.